In 1962 the U.S. Marine Corps issued a request for a heavy lift, ship-based helicopter capable of lifting a 4-ton payload over a radius of 100 nautical miles at a speed of over 150 knots. Boeing offered the CH-47A Chinook, which was already in service with the U.S. Army, while Sikorsky offered the S-65. The latter was selected, and after three years of tumultuous development entered service as the CH-53A Sea Stallion.
On this episode, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve LtCol Matthew “Twitch” Bauman joins us to pay homage to the family of S-65 / H-53 helicopters by discussing the one that became the backbone for the Marines and in which he accrued the most flight time: the CH-53E Super Stallion. Twitch answers our usual ‘aircraft series’ questions and even a few listener questions as he describes this beloved heavy lift helicopter and its rather unflattering nickname / mission.
Please note this episode includes some mild language. Check out the video of a Super Stallion landing with a stuck nose landing gear here.
Episode artwork by Janek Krause. Bumper music by Jaime Lopez / announcements by Clint Bell.